Tuesday, April 22, 2008

how can I resist!! 45 new little baby chickens : )

more picts from Kim

Here are a few fun picts from Kim and Scott's visit that Kim sent this morning... thanks Kim...

That's a martini : ) in case my smile didn't give it away...

Monday, April 21, 2008

chief's video

This is Chiefs "for sale" video keep you fingers crossed for the perfect home for this big guy!



Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kim and Scott' s visit

Well spring is really sprung around here. Kim and Scott have been here now since Thursday and the time has flown : ( ... Kim has managed to name 4 animals on the farm very aptly I must say ... first one was Andy the cat - ... he's kind of "rag doll" like hence the name : ) .... I will say he's really grown on us...

Kim also named the three little pigs : ) Peter, Paul and Marcy : )

The seeds are started for the summer garden... and where added to by kim as well : )

Scott and Brian took that willow down finally that brian had started last summer with Will... it was a good day...

The chickens are happily laying about 3 dozen a day for us and the green grass makes every body happy : )

There was a pretty fun dinner too that turned into 10 good friends and good times and ended in drunken pyrotechnics AGAIN... this is becoming a tradition I'm not sure our neighbors appreciate...

we went to the Draft horse and equipment auction in sisters saw Duane there and had had a great lunch and good times... we saw some great old equipment and beautiful horses...

Some "Scott moments" : )

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's springing up babies

FINALLY my fruit trees have started blooming! thank goodness I was starting to take it personally....

In other news...
I watched my neighbor's baby horse be born yesterday wow that was amazing... the best part was after the baby was out the mom looked at her and started to "talk" to her and stick her nose to her and say hello .. it was an honor to be there...

And Sunday I got our new pigs! they are just the cutest! They are a a cross of Chester Whites and Gloucestershire Old Spots

Gloucestershire Old Spots are said to be good foragers and grazers. They are also a rare breed that is "critical" at the moment. The more folks promoting this old breed the better we don't want to loose these special breeds. They add diversity to our food and wonderful "old" characteristics like being efficient on grass which is increasingly coming to the forefront and we are learning more important than anyone thought for the animals health and ours too.

So here they are in all their cuteness : ) no names yet but there are 2 boys and a girl so we are taking suggestions ...

and here is "macho" (as I was named in Ethiopia) me carrying the pigs from the truck to their pen - yes this is the proper way to carry a pig honest it's the kindest way to do it - but they are NOT light and they squirm a lot .. pigs really don't' like to be manhandled at all... they put up quite a fuss I was worried the neighbors might call the cops with all the racket... : )

And last but not least my super husband who has made some great progress on our back field ... we may even have it ready for summer grazing... : ) hummm cows - more on that thought later

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The best day I could imigine!!

Many of you know I've been thinking dreaming and working towards farm work with horses for a while now and yesterday I felt one step closer...

I've spoken of Duane VanDyke several times well yesterday with he, his daughter in law Sara and "adopted daughter" Maria I went to a "historic farming day" at the Yamhill Museum... I couldn't have imaged a better day!

The tractors and old time farm equipment where awesome.. and most of you know I have a thing for old tractors...

but today they where superseded by the horses : ) ...

"The Girls"

Duane Driving - see one hand : ) for plow and one for horses... (some day I'll get there)

So I have had a little driving time with duane's horses but never with a plow... And let me tell you it was thrilling!

It's a pretty amazing feeling to have this team in front of and the plow between you swiftly churning! The thing that surprised me the most was how "fast it feels" when you see plowing it looks so peaceful, quite and slow... well at least for now as a beginner it's NOT SLOW !! and takes a lot of focus and also you have to remember to relax too as the hoses pick up everything of course!!

so there you are behind this team with a big heavy piece of equipment and "your up!"... so you ask and of course Duane's horses are serious well trained workers so these guys (actually girls in this case) get right to work there's no "plodding" along slow and steady... imagine football players running at the big heavy bags and pushing them there's speed and power and focus on these horses part! it's awesome..

and there there's the plow!... that reminded me of steering a boat but with a little more muscle behind it... if you over correct there's a tiny lag and then your plow is careening off the wrong way quickly! and then that "mistake in your row" will cost you for the next few passes as you correct it... then there are rocks and things in the ground that toss you around too... again quickly correcting that slow gently image I had now that I've actually put my hand to the plow.

The end of the row ... now I will say this is my favorite part! there's a little rush of "man that was a good one" or "ok now I got to fix this or that"... as you get to the end you sort of "toss" your plow on it's side then stop and turn your horses and when Duane does it let me tell you it's pretty darn smooth!! When I got to the end of my first furrow I got my plow over and then pretty much yelled my "whoa" to the team I was so worked up!! I was not looking like the calm peaceful farmer let me tell you : ) I look forward to someday being good enough to be able to whisper my whoa .. : )

Sara worked along side of me and was sooo patient THANK YOU SARA!!!... she's a pro! The first few passes she worked the team along side of me so I could get the feel of the plow and then she gave me the lines! She's been at this a while and has a natural feel for the whole process!! I'm learning a ton from her...

So my deep thanks to Duane for all his time patience and kindness!! and to Maria and Sarah for all the tips and helpful guidance as we work with the horses!! I'm learning so much and LOVING every second!...

Maria is my "teacher" for learning to be calm in all situations... I've never met a woman who is more unflappable - if I could learn just a tiny but of her calmness and peace around the horses I'd be a way better horse woman!!

These mules where great - funny and hard working!!

Sara and Sadie

The plows we used

Sara on the plow

Maria on the plow

Duane's "finish" ... feast your eyes on that straight perfect finish!!!